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Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites
Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 487, Immigration and American Public Policy (Sep., 1986), pp. 79-91
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1046054
Page Count: 13
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
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As whites become increasingly distant in generations and time from their immigrant ancestors, the tendency to distort, or remember selectively, one's ethnic origins increases. Distortions and inconsistencies in ethnic reporting are shown to vary with age, educational attainment, and marital status and even to exist within families when parents report the ethnic ancestry of their children. These examples of inconsistency, simplification, and systematic distortion all demonstrate the flux of the ethnic categories among white Americans. It is concluded that ethnic categories are social phenomena that over the long run are constantly being redefined and reformulated.
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science © 1986 American Academy of Political and Social Science